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June 18, 2021

IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Purpose driven Cloud Strategy and role of IT infrastructure in it

Courtesy of SAP's Ashima Raheja, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Purpose driven Cloud Strategy and role of IT infrastructure in it' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live.

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Session Information:

Purpose driven Cloud Strategy and role of IT infrastructure in it

Just upto 6-7 years ago, many leaders believed that Cloud is just a fad. These leaders represented some of the largest technology companies that have been legends in their respective business domains.

Well the reality is for everyone to see now. However do we believe that all of us in technology world today are fully onboarded with the idea and understanding of Cloud? The understanding of Cloud, its requirements, technology landscape behind it and business outcomes that it can influence are probably still evolving.

Many of the companies still don’t run on cloud, either they are not ready for It or they don’t see a dire need to go on Cloud. Sometimes IT budgets don’t allow it, sometimes path to move to Cloud is not clear and most of the times, the companies are victims of heavy customization done systematically by their employed IT vendors.

Key takeaways:

  • IT and Business to work and plan Cloud strategy together; A purpose driven Cloud strategy.
  • Importance and relevance of holistic Cloud strategies with multiple options that are affordable and sustainable.
  • Role of infrastructure in all versions of Cloud. The impact of choosing the right type of infrastructure, an infra vendor that is right for you.
  • Transformation journey to Cloud being seamless, agile and flexible. Automation is imperative.
  • Seamless integration of infra with business applications and processes for better decisions.

Session Transcript:

Excited of our next guest, she is coming from Frankfurt, Germany, where she leads our Client Delivery Management for SCP EMA. Or ... is with us, hello, there Is a shame. A wonderful to have you with us today.

Thank you so much, Jose. That was a very powerful introduction, and I'm very excited to be here. Thank you.
0:
And I'm gonna go further, and I'm gonna share a little bit more about what an accomplished leader Schumer is. She has over 17 years of experience driving our business outcomes through diligently planning and executing strategists. She has working three product companies serving small to large enterprises. She's a global leader. She has lived and worked in India, Canada, Singapore, London, and now coming to us from nearby Frankfurt, Germany.

During the last seven years. Shima has been driving Cloud Transformation for her customers, businesses, Blaine diverse roles of strategy designer, Chief Operating Officer, Cloud Managed services, Portfolio had. And most recently, European business Leader. Again, Oshima, What a privilege for us to have you sharing your wisdom and expertise with nearly 2000 of our global leaders today.

Thank you, Jose. Excited, looking forward to it.

So, well, with that powerful introduction, this also is an exciting place for me in, because all the experience that we've been making, in this, especially the last 1, 1.5 year.

Is this has been very interesting to see how certain businesses that we're never for and ready for cloud or going onto the cloud, That, how, that the mindset changes, and also how they are very excited to go onto the cloud. Driven by different factors, right? But definitely calls it, changed the world, changed our generation, how, how we are going to proceed in our businesses? Now, I personally worked, like I was introduced, I personally have worked in different capacities and different types of businesses, but one thing that I've seen always is what makes any decision successful is when this is purpose driven. If there is no clear purpose, you'll always struggle with living. Your ideas are living your strategies. Because you always need, not just the business outcomes are the values that you want to dry, But also you need people supporting you, people behind you. And if they see a purpose, That is, what drives everybody together. So I, personally, like I said, I saw that we did have some of these different experiences that started coming in.

When we start to last year, at 20 20 onwards when we started to see the, all world changing around call at 19.

I personally was, in, this pays off a global leadership at that point of time, And we saw that in the Cloud managed services business at some of our customers, who were very happy with on premise type of solutions, they started asking about, what's in there in the cloud world? Can I go to what type of Cloud model they can adopt? And especially for what type of solutions or applications? So, not all of their Enterprise.

Solutions that they would want the Wholesale Club, but they would like to take tiny baby steps. And most that we saw was in the area of e-commerce. And that is, we probably have experienced that in one of the other areas that e-commerce took the most important role in the last 1.5 years.

So our businesses as well started to look into that area and when you see small businesses or larger businesses, who were reluctant to go on Cloud, started to explore different possibilities.

That is where that, where I personally and that's why I said, this is an expedient fact. that this was now stress testing all of the IT infrastructure because we have to see that. What are the demands are is public cloud. A suitable option? Is private cloud a suitable option for these type of customers, because they were never into our Cloud business.

So, I think a, this was an eye opener for me as well.

However, the questions that I personally also asked our customers is, why would you want to do this? And we saw globally in different, different reasons, across different geographies.

Screenshot - 2021-04-26T151045.020We saw different reasons, why would customer want to do this, or some were very keen that it has they have to go onto the cost reduction side because having on premise solutions, traditionally that large enterprise software that is hosted on premise means cost. And when what other thing that caught with 19 dade is pushing everybody against the wall in terms of resilience.
In terms of costs, how would you be build resilience strategies, and have those costs, and those financials and commercial, backing you up in situations like this, is cost reduction of vision. That's why we asked. Or, do you really want to gain agility? Flexibility.

Because, of course, this is a larger area of customization when you have everything on prem, its highest degree of control, and highest degree of customization that you can have. But that doesn't give you enough flexibility because then you're bound by the heavily customized applications, Heavily customized Code.

And if you have vendors doing that for you, your stuff with those vendors, why? Because, you know, your code, your customized.

So, I still remember, it was 2019, I believe, that I was giving giving a talk at Frankfurt School of Business, and I was heavily impressed by the students that were out there, young students.

And they asked a question, because for them, it's difficult to understand legendary businesses like Oracle, sap. To understand that, how heavily customized some of these enterprise resource, enterprise resource software, or those applications have been.

And their question was, How do you sustain that? How much cost would this be to a business when there is so much customization that has gone in, And we know that there are so many businesses and clients out there that have been running this for the last 20 plus years? And over the years, the level and degree of customization has gone so deep into their code that they can't even see the light of the day. Like, Where would we be?

And, to give businesses, agility to move faster, to adopt any type of innovation that comes in. That could probably be another reason why they want to get away from all of that. So, this journey is going to be difficult longer, but, still, you have to take that journey.

So, that was another another thing that we saw, Or we also realized, and that's what I explained before, in terms of Code 90, and where, Commerce applications, e-commerce solutions, or e-commerce applications, that was becoming a big need why, because your users needed now. They still need to access your your product. And you see that, probably, you did have a website, or smaller businesses that I talk about. that did have a website somewhere, but not heavily.

Knisely used or heavily used, or even nicely, designed, in a way because everything was kind of in-store experience. But, then, we started seeing that we needed to be nice, so, we needed to be more flexible, attach it with the digital modes of payment and stuff. So that is where we see that your users need it. Now, you have to run your business online to your users needed.

Now, sometimes, that also happens that you're customers actually are having a lot of budget, and that's normally, for the larger businesses. They have lots of money at hand. So what do you do? Maybe, you know, just invest in cloud. We've heard about this. So maybe take one application here, or take one solution here, Put that out on Cloud, and let us see how does How does that work? And that normally happens when your IT is little bit disconnected from your business.

I personally am the biggest advocate of IT and business working together.

And you'll see when I explained that a little bit more, because of being in a business, where we had consulting services being given to customers. But then, we realized that the traditional consulting world, Or that model doesn't work anymore. And to transform that entire world into a cloud type of services, that was key.

But, we realize that, based on the questions that we're getting, is that the customer say that at the end of the yet, there's so much money that are left, let's just invest in cloud, and let's see, how does that work? So, that that also happened.

But there's, there's another thing that we have to ask ourselves.

I didn't receive honestly that type of a question, but this is also a sense out of Experience is, because everybody's just going cloud, We should also, we should also explore it.

Btog CTANow, this could be a good thing or a bad thing, but Is that giving you really, a solid purpose to go on cloud? Because you need to all understand what's behind it.

You know, when we take a decision, when businesses take that type, that type of a decision, what's behind it, or which I vote for, is digital transformation. Is your vision bite? So, you really want to go in a digital way. And I personally am driving another big initiative right now, which is all going towards digital way of supporting clients and delivering certain services to clients.

And those are the different type of services that we'll also see when I talk further.

Before we get into that, when businesses try to go to cloud, because of whatever purpose, whatever reason there is, there always needs to be an understanding of what's behind it. Understand and assess the risks that are behind it, the advantages behind it.

So when we talk about cloud, the first question that we've been getting from our client is public cloud, private cloud, what is in there?

So, most of the, a non cloud native, really traditional businesses, those, they ask a question, just between public and private cloud, but, again, the terms that they use is not just public cloud and private cloud, There are statements about their current situation, which is, This is where my business is. And I can talk about a customer that we were dealing with. It in a developing country and largest oil refinery business out there, and they ask always We have probably data sovereignty laws come in, so we might want to use post our data somewhere because we do reduce costs here. But then we also want to leverage the features of cloud, However, we would want to still keep control on our business are not solutions.

That means I would still want to be, as a customer, they said, I would still want to know, how is the infrastructure actually looking like? where my solutions or services or applications are going to be hosted.

Is there, is there a camera on top on the cages, where wet the infrastructure?

The data center that is being used to some customers would want to have a good control over even the infrastructure side of the house?

Which means, not just the way infrastructure is set up, but also how often this is maintained, who maintains a who upgrades it, and everything else, but some are absolutely OK. And those are, rather, the smaller businesses, All the larger businesses, They have certain portion of their solutions or applications that they want to put on cloud. So, there are problem statement, and then as, as a company who wants to provide these services, are solutions to our customers, we have to translate this, considering their problem statement. So what they really wanted to go, you know, Absolutely free of worry where they don't care where mice applications are hosted. I don't care, you manage it, you take care of everything. I rather because I wanted to go on a digital way. I would rather want to have a platform that's given to me where I can also create new applications, right.

Now, that's just on a public and private, but then what we're seeing with more mature customers that are already running on cloud, Or rather the smaller ones that are emerging pure cloud native, They start talking about multi cloud distributed cloud, because, of course, there is a variety of solutions, and software and applications that they have, and they were rather wanted to understand, if I take Cloudfront, one vendor, one company, but I have other software as well. So, can I also combine all of that in a cloud environment? But maybe, like a multi-cloud, which is all kind of public cloud, together, all kind of private clouds together? or rather, distributed cloud? Then, how am I going to ensure into integration across different clouds?

Or, I probably, if I'm very simple, business, I would say, this part of my business, of my software, actually goes onto the private cloud because of the data security, or data privacy type of reasons, But for the other, I'm actually OK if that goes on a, on a public cloud as well.

But, explaining this to the business is key, because their problem statements, their requirements, need to be translated, exactly, interwove would fit for them.

And there's another option, by the way, beyond all of that, and that is your own cloud infrastructure. So, we call this, like felt at home, and that's where we see that you could, there are some customers who would, like I say, are still willing and interested to have full control on the infrastructure.

So, they could still have it in their own environment, on premise type of a data center, but the way this is maintained and delivered, those type of managed services that are operating their applications on that cloud, is given to a vendor.

So, that option is also available. So I think with the different enhancements or evolution that we're seeing in a cloud world, I would say the options are really endless.

But, as a business, we need to understand what is required for what type of business, and those are A We'll see on the, probably on the following slide, absolutely driven by their geographical constraint. So, there are data laws in different countries. And we see that from Europe to two Americas or to Africa, For example, we see those type of laws that are guiding businesses to choose different types of cloud.

Now, I also was I do a deep study on the research that's published by some of the analysts.

And we saw, This is before, corvid and I'm sure these numbers have changed that the public cloud adoption, we all say is increasing. And more and more companies also wants to go on public cloud, because they have experienced some part of private cloud. And they feel more confident, but also to go onto the pure cloud but also at the same time.

There are lots of evolutions and enhancements happening in this piece of public cloud, or be it related to security or data. Privacy. There are also lots of enhancements happening there. So, the the businesses have more trust in going to public Cloud, taking that next step.

But still, less than 10, 20% of the total IT expenditure was allocated the public cloud. This is before ..., and we see the changes in it already, like I said, in last 1, 1.5 years, where smaller part of applications or smaller businesses are actually willing to go on a public cloud environment.

Now, what type of infrastructure would you choose?

That depends really on your neat, right, and cloud computing.

And that is one of the enhancements, I would say, that we're seeing, in a cloud world, is that, this cloud computing models, those are Jane increasing a lot. In terms of efficiencies, there are new ways of cloud computing, the upcoming in.

one of the things that we see is ES and Pass that are being combined. So those boundaries between IaaS and PaaS or being merged today. So most of the top vendors that you will see, the top companies that you'll see that are providing bead, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services or Google or Alibaba, they do provide very good services in terms of IaaS and PaaS together.

But that's also because I think the traditional Yes versus pass is standalone. iOS and pause is, is not something which is attractive to a lot of businesses today, as they do start to understand what cloud can do for them. And we are seeing more and more this Cloud Infrastructure and platform services called the CIPS. Those are being combined now, and that is an experience that most of the businesses would like to have that. I host everything on the infrastructure. OK, I'm not worried about my hardware. The costs of being all show reduced in that category, but then I don't want to have an IT staff and my end to manage that operations of the infrastructure.

Because when the idea, or the intention, or your purpose is to go on a digital transformation or reduce your cost or become more agile and flexible in that way, you would rather want to outsource all of that to a vendor that can do this better for you. And as they own the infrastructure, they know the infrastructure so much better, they can also operate your applications in that pace much more better.

So, we also see somewhat trancelike cloud infrastructure and platform services that I talked about are actually going to be the key offering in the next 4 to 5 years. Especially these, these hyperscale us that I mentioned, they are building more and more capabilities in that space.

Now, the data center, that we know traditional data center, that is no longer the center of an org's data anymore. So there is, there are different locations of the data centers that businesses choose, your primary can be in one location. Your secondary can be in another location completely. We see still many cases. Those are still surprising. Honestly, to me, especially the businesses that are running globally, they would not want to have their primary data center and secondary at the same location. When you distribute your data centers like that. You also need to have very strong integration features that your data and applications are talking to each other, and with primary fields, a secondary picks up immediately without the customer knowing any fall back, or any any type of a dip in the performance.

And I think what we also see is, on the, uh, the features that we were talking about, it shouldn't actually matter if your data centers are somewhere on premise or in a different type of a domain.

But the most important thing is that, what they're supposed to do, in terms of the integration, that's key, and that's what they should do.

Now, in addition to IaaS and PaaS, what we're also experiencing is the soft part of it. So imagine if a business has both IaaS and PaaS given outsource, bye, bye to a vendor, and everything is taken care of. But, when it comes to building applications or sustaining or managing your applications on top, you would still need to have either your own IT staff taken care of it, or you would need to outsource that to another vendor. And that is a large page where most of the vendors, the big when does it actually operating the service. The SIs are actually operating in that page. Now, if I look at pure implementation consulting, that is kinda losing their focus in that space because we're not looking at when we go to cloud. We're not looking at customizations but not looking at implementations. Those are inbuilt solutions that are given by most of the SaaS vendors out there, those applications.

14And, more and more, attraction happens.

When iOS PaaS and SaaS are all combined to either one vendor is actually taken care of that, or you rather just have two windows that are talking to each other. They are partners. And you have a hyper scale are giving you IES and past experience.

And then, you have an application or a software vendor that's actually building, giving you the platform where they can manage your applications that are running on the hyper scale.

And it also gives you an opportunity to build your applications, on top of that platform.

I think that is where I personally have been experiencing a lot of attraction, that more customers are willing to go in that space. Otherwise, imagine you've got 2 or 3 different vendors. And then you need another vendor coming in to orchestrate across all of those vendors to most benefit that we see is being achieved.

When you have these three X S, everything as a service, right, That is being achieved, I personally my favorite term is to call the solution as a service, and that is including everything your platform, your service. The software and infrastructure. So when you combine all of that, that's what I like to, rather than call Sass solution as a service. And when.

one of the examples that you probably will also see is MS 365, for example, is replacing MS Exchange. So, that's just just Microsoft does, from an ES pass, no combining, removing those boundaries, and combining those, those things.

Now, when it comes to also software, or bringing automation, I think more and more vendor, whether they are on the infrastructure side, or on the software side, there is a lot of momentum on building automation.

So, some of the examples, like a client copy, or, a backup needs to be taken. System restarts needs to happen. Early watch reports, for example, they need to be produced and you have certain KPIs from a business standpoint that need to be highlighted.

Rather than having a manual intervention, everybody is looking at automating these type of things, because that not just makes the life of a customer, as a customer, it'll make it easy for you because the costs are reduced and then, you don't really have to worry about planning, sitting down with a consultant and planning. When is my downtime, and how much would my downtime would be? And if something goes wrong, I have somebody on the call all the time.

So, I believe that momentum and focus on automation at infrastructure, as well as software level, is key. And DevOps is another, another trend. It's not really a trend, it's becoming a need now, because those are going to be the fundamentals for you to operate for any business, to operate in the cloud environment. Everything needs to be so fast now that you can't afford to have a waterfall model in, in your development, as well as your release cycles.

So, something that, A completely surprised me. It was not even recent, I think that was around four years ago.

We have a Customer, A Banking customer, and their rollout of the new features in a banking environment. Their rollout was two weeks of new features that they want to two weeks. And this was a nail bank who was completely different in that pace of traditional banking, absolutely cloud native, because it was a new band coming up and Nail bank. And so, they had this DevOps environment where everything was being developed and tested at the same time. And being rolling out to two week cycle is something that I, personally, 3, 4 years ago, I wasn't aware of. So, I was still in that zone of a, you have a waterfall model. Everything gets developed, dumped into your dev, environment, gets tested in QA, and then you roll it out on the production system. I don't think that is.

That is, for most of the clients, that is true anymore. A, B, C, D R, so Business continue doth disaster Recovery. Those are where we're seeing automation happening. A lot.

And distributed cloud strategies in, this is key A, I I was just coming off a call with a client where we are, again, talking about a global customer, wants to have a presence across the three main regions, mean continent, and they want to have their cloud environment, the data centers in across different locations. But ensuring connectivity between them.

Data center as a bed edge location, These are key. It is starting to become more as a standard, now.

So another thing that, from purely from an infrastructure standpoint, what we see as becoming design fundamental Kubernetes serverless. Now, those, I would say, are still, for the more mature type of businesses that have an experience in cloud. They know how to build cloud native applications. They know, if I'm creating applications that are container deck, I can put in containers.

And then those clusters that I create, my Cuban at this can actually provide that orchestration platform.

So more legendary businesses would not be in that space, Would not be ready in that space, and then using, having private Cloud as more your primary data center, your primary cloud system, but then you can use public cloud for your backups and recovery. So those are some of the trends that I personally, have been experiencing with the customers. But with that, a little bit of a reality is that, that comes into the picture in terms of what the wishes and the desires are.

And what we see is theoretically happening these, these, The reality is a bit different, you, when you talk about enterprise, providers, enterprise software, Businesses that have huge systems, A complicated environment because of these systems.

They still are shy of getting into a cloud world. We did talk in 2018 October, though, I still have to go before covert times.

There was a customer in Europe who asked me a question, Why do you think that we should go on cloud? Everything runs fine.

I see no problem. My users are not asking me to do things any differently.

My IT staff has been telling me said, this was a CEO, by the way. So we were talking about business, so what do you expect from a business. And his simpler requirements were that don't sell me anything. I want to reduce the costs.

But everything that I have from you, make it work more efficiently and that's when we started to have the cloud conversation. And that's when this question come up came up, why should I go on cloud or you're trying to sell me something where I should pay? Because everything else, everything is just working normal.

We see that the same customer changed the storyline just last year, and that is because the the on premise world is not working.

And it has to go. and they were driven completely by the demand from the users.

Because they have to go on cloud. at least for one part of the application. That was exactly the e-commerce part that they needed to build a web application. They wanted to put their products out there, which they were not doing before, because everything was just on the ground.

So some geographies and some legendary customers are still going to lag behind a little bit. I would say, and this is where we see that.

Whether you talk about different geographies or also different industry so retail would probably you'll expect, would go on cloud, these this is the best way, but when you talk about anything in the financial industry, you'll still see here a little bit of concerns that, you know, not all of the systems may be some, maybe not.

But data sovereignty rules, those, those guide on the cloud adoption of the businesses.

And one of the examples that I gave, where we are, we are personally serving a customer with the data center across the continent, and in the country of this customer now, there's going to be a new data sovereignty rule introduced, because of that, the needs to have the data within the same country, exactly within the same country, not even continent, and if that happens, we need, there is no data center available in that country. This is one of the developing countries. What do we do in that case?

Screenshot (4)So there is definitely one option that we're proposing to the customer is to have a cloud on premise cloud at home.

So, we manage everything that is from an iOS and pass side, but also bringing in the SaaS experience. But the data center infrastructure is still there, on the customer ground.

So I believe these rules, these, these type of dependencies would always play a big role in how businesses and how many businesses would actually adopt cloud.

But another thing that we cannot avoid is that it also triggers inside politics.

And I would go back to this example that I talked about where the CEO said in 20 18, late 2018, that I don't think I need to go on cloud. This is probably your another tactic to sell something.

But when I had a different conversation with the CIO, the CIO understood what benefit IT would have, when it comes to moving to Cloud, slowly, step by step, why, let's take one piece of our application and move it to Cloud.

But the CIO's concerns are very clear that I cannot sell it to my CEO.

And I personally believe that this is, this is where I started a purpose driven cloud strategy. And I think as we are moving more and more into this cloud world, we need to have more focus on the values.

What are the different tactics, or different changes or transformation policies that we are adopting on the IT side? It's not just an IT budget anymore, that we reserve a certain budget for IT, IT, is just supposed to be at the backend and see, that everything at the back end works fine, IT is actually merging with the business, so, you need to understand what business value you can drive, everything that has done on the IT side, what outcomes can achieve from for the business? How revenue can be increased, cost, can be decreased. Profitability, can be increased, and all of that can be done using IT, but a bit differently.

Just some country, some businesses, to understand a, they've understand, understood it actually very, very well, but some are still kind of struggling in that space.

Screenshot - 2021-04-26T151045.020And then, of course, it becomes of people, never politics as well, that why would I want to come folded where, normally business is, and it, of course, there's also a concern about a longer transition times. Especially when there is a lot of customization.

And you have intricate solution, landscape A, you're always concerned about how long is it going to take for me to transition everything on to the cloud. And that's, why would say you don't have to start with every single one. Go see what's important for the business, again, for the business, Not for IT.

Because unless things are driving value, you'll always be hit by a wall. You're always hit a wall, and you will not be able to move over, because it's not giving your value.

And, uh, how long does it take a of the transition times, and then there is also uncertainty when you talk to some, some of the businesses, that, How is this going to run? Because, hey, listen, My my solution landscape is not like that, plus I know that I would want to, I would need to invest more money into this, It's gonna be, it's gonna take me money as well as time.

But what I'm actually getting out of bed and then something that we should never forget is when any business decides to go onto the cloud, it's a big transition and training employees, your own employees, is going to be the most important task that people understand that, as well. So, I've been, in the last seven years, in a cloud transformation business.

So, one of the biggest challenge that I experienced was just even making everybody around me believe that if we turned this whole thing into a cloud way of doing things, we would rather be more profitable.

Other than, continue to do it. And what happens and that pays you start to bring in some of the automation features. and then people have concerned about their jobs.

Am I not going to be needed anymore?

If I'm a consultant, who was actually sitting down with the customer, implementing a certain solution, having a design thinking workshop, implementing something, if everything is just running over the cloud, my job will not be needed. So, I think people aspect, and then there's mind, shift.

That is key. That, that needs to change, And that has to go on a bigger picture, and I would like that, that experience. I mean, this go so much in detail that I would love to share, but it considering just the time, I would stay away from it.

But I would say slowly, once you've given, again, a bigger view to the employees, and that applies to all businesses, right? Businesses that are providing services, Businesses that are consuming services, it applies to everybody. When you see the bigger picture, you see that. how much more can I do as an individual, as a person, as a human while the not needed task is actually being done by something that is automated.

And another thing is, it, again, goes to a little bit of a politics, some of the big businesses that do deal with 3 to 4, to sometimes even five vendors who are managing the different types of environments. Whether somebody's doing, managing certain set of applications, somebody's managing another set of infrastructure.

When you go decide as a business to go on cloud, you would also want to consolidate, re-invent your vendor strategy.

And that is where some politics also comes in. Which one goes where and how do you integrate and which one actually makes sense in a new world? And so on, but a, this is something which is unavoidable, I would say.

And we, we, as businesses, have to go through that path, because I believe there's no way around it. So, how would I say, understanding the different types of infrastructure models, and different types of cloud computing, which I always believe is now cloud is not about what's behind it, it's rather what you can do with it.

And we've seen that with different variations that we do with our customers. So, building a holistic cloud strategy, which is purpose driven, so that is key. First of all, let's define the right purpose, and that's, that's also my wise, whenever I talk to the customers is defined, What do you want to achieve, your outcomes, your values, What impact would it have in your organization?

And what type of risks could be there, where it you should be aware of, by the way, and weekend, address those while building your cloud strategy.

And, when we When we talk about building those, there are, there are automation features, there are.

Well, how I should say it is, the risks that you could always have is, when you bring in automation, how long would it take, and how much would you have to work with your own employees in that space?

But, the point is, take those steps now.

Start small, and maybe start with a private cloud. That gives you more, more control.

That gives you more a feeling that I am still in control of what I'm doing, and I would say most of the large customers that we deal with today, are not comfortable with going on public cloud. only. Because, I don't think most of the larger businesses already, way the accepting the fact that I, any any, for example, upgrade that comes in, I have to take it. And it just kind of, you know, it goes through without my intervention without my knowledge. And sometimes, I don't like the features of it. I can't control it. And this is with most of my clients are currently, I'm looking after your up and I see that a lot where customers still wants to do hosted on a certain private cloud environment. They do have a multi cloud. But still, it's all in the most in the area of the private cloud.

And another thing I would say is building a holistic vision, yes, pass us, That's easier. It is going to be a little bit of a dependency let's say on a certain went up but when when you have do when does working in partnership one from a software side, another one from a hyperscale being hyper scale or you have a good view, you have an end to end view?

And I said that already I am a biggest advocate of providing solution as a service.

How does a when they do that? How if I'm a vendor, how do I do that? Having your taking care of your infrastructure, giving you that platform that you can use to build your cloud applications. And then run it the way you want to do Taking care of your databases underneath. So giving you full transparency.

I think this, as to my business, to my customer, this should be a good view, that, if you trust your vendor to take care of all of these things, you don't even have to have your IT staff sitting on top of it. Have some people that are, that can actually drive strategy, rather than getting into an execution mode.

And beyond all that, every business needs to keep in mind that if, even if you do all that automation is an imperative, whether your vendor does that, or you bring that in, it is an imperative, because that's where you have the maximum value of cloud coming in.

And, of course, no matter what we do, you'll still need people doing different things, like thinking differently, defining strategy, And they need to be skilled and empowered, re skilled, probably, and sometimes even unlearn, and relearn in a way that would empower them to take decisions to go further into the cloud world.

14So, well, that that's that's what out of my experience, I would say.

And with that, Jozy, I think I am good.

Let's look at some other questions.

Fantastic. Fantastic. Thank you so much. As shima for, for, for that Great, Comprehensive view of law, for your journey, has been there.

I'm going to ask you to stop sharing, showing your screen, and I'll come in here, and that we're going to go through some of the questions that our audience has submitted while you're presenting. Let me just capture those here.

Um, one of the questions that came in, actually, nearly the end of your talk here is when you're talking about, oh, the purposes for the cloud, to cloud purpose, and setting that cloud purpose. So, Catarina, come I ever is, is a practitioner in this area. And, and she's curious if you could elaborate a little bit more on the, on the finding the right purpose for a cloud strategy.

So, if you can go a little bit deeper on that, what type of purposes that, that you have, OK.

Interesting, why because those, that definition of purpose, an understanding of purpose is key.

Some of the examples that I shared about my customers are going in the direction of, I need to be more flexible in each eye.

Because the way we're doing business today is making us dependent on some particular vendors a lot. Because every change that we want to do, every innovation that we want to introduce, it goes back into the same vendor, because that code is heavily customized. We just can't do some of the features, we can build in some of the features. If you want to roll out something, it has to go through the again, traditional cycles of release cycles that we all know from traditional world, and that is, making a slow, how can I get more flexible in HIV? And that means that if this is your purpose, that you want to serve your customers. Because, I'm just talking about a B2B customer right now, but if I'm a business who's dealing with the end users, that is providing, let us say, a different ice cream flavors to the to the end users.

Why if I'm introducing a new flavor of ice cream, why do I have to go through the release cycle that used to be very traditional? I want to introduce it in a plug and play mode. So, there is a new flavor Bring that in. All the commercials behind it are all in customers can click and choose. There's a new application that I want to adopt a new UI. I want to adopt, but I can't, because my IT doesn't enabled me to do that.

So, if your purpose is do serve your users in a faster and more nicer, today's modernizing your IT modernized way than that is, I would say, a clear purpose.

Just one example of a purpose driven strategy that that's, that's very helpful and they knew, and you alluded to, that, is especially large organizations.

Sometimes it's hard to align those purposes internally with the, with the leaders of the organization. I can only imagine the challenges. But, moving on to the next question here.
I'm curious about the, one of the things that emerge on the on the questions has to do with.

Where do you see cloud strategist going in the next few months? I mean, clearly, there has been there, the pandemic has been a shock to the system and there has been an acceleration of digital platforms and cloud and, for, out of necessity, to function. And so, I don't know if we have reached some sort of stability level, yet. But, what do you see happening in the next 12 months with respect to Cloud Strategists? Is it more about just making sure that the basics work, wow, is that new functionality that's being built for Cloud? What do you see in the marketplace?

Oh, the biggest trend that I've seen is the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS that I'd afoot to do. So some of our customers are already raising their hands, choosing to go to the Hyper scholars, and asking us to provide services on top when I talk about it. So let's take a package, a simple package that says to the customers, we're going to manage the applications for. You don't have to worry about this. But by the way, this is optional. What you can do is choose a hyper scalar. And that's your infrastructure will come in and manage the cloud managed services.

For example, the technical part of it, which is ensuring that your integration with your hardware works will give you an indication when you're certain Hana database, for example. So I'm just giving you an example of a sap database, but any database underlying database is actually running out of memory. When do you need more hardware? So, I will manage your system integration with your infrastructure Well, but as an optional you as an optional package, you can take the application stuff on top.

More and more customers are saying yes to that because they see how easy that gets for them when everything is with one vendor. So hyperscale or plus a software vendor for joining hands together and customers choosing to go to one vendor instead of having multiple vendors. Is the trend that I'm seeing But also in the same environment. I'm also seeing that some of the customers are getting used to the flavor.

I'll sit in 2020 alone I saw many businesses adopting the e-commerce applications. They are already raising their hands.

Hey, can you also get our people, HR systems, on cloud? Which options do you have, I would like to explore. So those are the things that I'm seeing, where customers are getting more and more interested in, in choosing cloud.

Shima, this is fantastic insights. Really appreciate you taking the time to share them with us. We're, we're out of time right now, but we can definitely talk about this for much, much longer. Thank you so much for taking the time of your busy schedule, sharing, your expertise with our global audience today. We're very much appreciative of that.

Thank you, Josie, and thank you, everybody. This has been a lovely, lovely time here for me to talk to you guys.

Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, there was a shima raheem who is the head of Client Delivery Management for SEP EMA. Fantastic coverage. Fantastic.

Insights on cloud strategy is the acceleration of cloud implementation. The needed support from IT infrastructure standpoint, very much at the core of what our conference is all about. Some of you asked, again, about How do I have access to this presentation, you'll remember, we'll send you some time by the end of next week. We'll all registered, participants will receive an e-mail with a link and password for access to all of the recordings that you can watch at your own leisure.

Screenshot (4)So, thanks, again, for our sponsors, Lean, I N X, for making that available to our Global community. Thanks to our conference producers, Brian Raffle for VJ by Josh, the CEO of ... for Creating this environment. Where great ideas and great people can connect, So, very excited about this. This wraps up our day, two of the conference. And tomorrow, we come back for the final day, Day three has a treat for you in storage. I will tell you that we're gonna kick off with another great leader for from SEP in a completely different part of the world. We're going to have ... who is the Senior Director of SEP Artificial Intelligence, talking to us directly about the challenges of realizing artificial intelligence use cases for enterprises around the world.

So Raoul has presented to us in the past is a fantastic presenter, a leader of artificial intelligence and a global scale.

So, really looking forward to that presentation will follow that up with we'll go from from India to Italy and we're going to have the leader from advanced service business development for Cisco. Joseph, a burrito talking to us directly from Italy about the migration of QALY and Contact Centers to Cloud.

And his experiences and the things to know in advance on that, on those operations that he has led for Cisco, will then migrate to Bio pharmaceutical, if you will. But forget about that.

It's really a leader who has being across multiple industries, and he has this art of blending business problems and the state-of-the-art technical solutions. I'm talking about and the leash Money whose delete Enterprise Architect Senior Data Science and Science tests and consultant for Biogen and a number of very well known organizations. He's going to talk to us about the Cloud Transition and what it means for your business. And then we will finish the day with a senior partner for K and L Gates, who is going to discuss what discuss with us economic incentives, and the related to the topic of IT infrastructure, and cloud strategist, a fascinating reveal of the economics that organizations and society go through a making some of its decisions. So excited about the day ahead.

Thank you so much for spending this day with us. And wherever you are in the world. Have a great rest of your day, and we'll see you back here tomorrow. Bye, Bye.

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About the Author

9625-1Ashima Raheja,
Head of Client Delivery Management EMEA,
SAP.

Being a technology enthusiast, Ashima has worked in 3 product companies and a non-profit charity organization over the last 17 years of my career. Started with writing the code, Ashima’s curiosity steered her towards front-end Business where she could see first-hand what customers need and what any vendor should offer. Technology trends follow human desires and ambitions and that intrigued her to step into technology and business defining strategy roles. 

Having worked in many diverse roles at SAP from Development and Quality program manager for SAP CRM, SAP IT Portfolio governance, Consulting Operations through to leading SAP Cloud Application Services globally, Ashima is currently working at SAP in Client Delivery Management role for Cloud managed services in Europe. 

Prior to joining SAP, Ashima worked at Oracle and Pivotal Software Ltd. managing ERP projects and operations. Through those stints, she has lived in India, Vancouver, Singapore, London and now has her home in Germany. 

Ashima believes in constant evolution which is fast-paced and purpose driven. Transformation is inevitable and being ahead of it, by knowing the pulse of market and customers is the only way for success for everyone. Ashima’s passion is to bring ideas to living reality, using technology.

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